How to respond when fundraising opportunities present themselves

Are you ready to respond when fundraising opportunities present themselves?

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In the world of nonprofit fundraising – especially direct-response fundraising – we’re typically working on initiatives and communications several months out. The topics we’re considering and letters we’re writing today won’t be read by anyone for three or four months.

The good news is this provides us a little leeway in our schedules to make course corrections should the need arise. We can be forward-thinking. We can all keep a little bit of our sanity… because after all, our teams won’t stick around too long if they are constantly completing what needs to get done yesterday. It’s too stressful, inefficient and causes everyone to work unnecessarily long hours. And who wants that?

But what about when unexpected fundraising opportunities present themselves? Are you ready to respond?

Let’s consider the example of a relief organization. Their mission is to provide food, medical care, and economic growth opportunities for the poor and underserved in Eastern Europe and Asia. A major earthquake hits that region of the world and the event is receiving national news coverage in the country the organization calls home. It’s safe to assume their involvement in the region affected by the earthquake is about to spike. But in order to respond to the need, they need to raise support NOW!

There are a dozen other questions you probably need to ask yourself to answer the “are you ready” question…. So for the sake of argument, let’s assume the answer to all budget and team capacity questions is “yes.”

I’d like to focus, instead, on two more important questions:

  1. Do you know what you need to know about your givers to be a good steward of your marketing budget?
  2. Can you easily get at that data to raise the support you NEED in order to accomplish your mission?

Unfortunately, for many nonprofits, the answer to both of these is “no.” And that drives me crazy! Even more frustrating are the reasons why:

  • We don’t know who has responded to this issue in the past
  • Our “database guy” is on vacation, sick, or too busy… so we can’t get at our data
  • Our strategic partners don’t have access to our CRM so they can’t increase our internal capacity in the short term
  • Our email marketing system isn’t integrated with our CRM – and it’s just too hard to send an email to the right people

Far too many fundraising opportunities are missed, passed on, or get out the door too late to be as effective as possible for all the wrong reasons. With the right tools and technology in place, you should never have to say “no” to accomplishing your mission for any of the reasons above. Your CRM should enable you, not handcuff you, by easily:

  • tracking what topics and issues each supporters responds to
  • managing donors’ communication preferences and what channels they are most likely to respond through
  • allow anyone in the organization – or your strategic partners – to quickly create fundraising campaigns and segmentation to connect with your supporters now – not in 2 weeks

These are exactly the reasons we built Virtuous from the ground up: connecting with supporters in real and meaningful ways to raise more support and, ultimately, do more good in the world. If you’d like to see this in action, sign-up for a demo and we’ll show you how easy it is to never miss a fundraising opportunity for the wrong reasons ever again.

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